How to Help Aging Adults Downsize 

A moving boes that lists out living room, dining room, bathroom, and kithcen. The box next to "kitchen" is being checked.
Aging adults who live in big homes that are not suitable for retirement may want to consider downsizing. 
Moving to a smaller home can save aging adults money and energy that can be spent in other ways, like traveling or cultivating new hobbies. 
A medical alert device can help keep your aging parent safe and secure during the downsizing process as well as once they have moved into their new home.

What Does Downsizing Your Home Mean? 

Downsizing refers to the practice of selling your existing home to purchase a smaller, less expensive one. 

This is typically done when people reach retirement age and no longer have use for a large property or a house with several rooms.  

Once the kids have moved out and your needs have changed, you may feel it’s time for a smaller home that requires less upkeep. 

One of the biggest advantages of older adults downsizing is that they can save money and move to a home that’s better suited for their golden years.  

Are People Still Downsizing? 
Downsizing was once a very popular practice, but this trend has shifted somewhat in recent times as more people are opting to age in place in their own homes. 
A recent survey shows that almost 80% of older adults want to grow old in their homes. This option may be more expensive than downsizing, as it often involves home modifications and the purchase of new tools, such as smart locks and automatic lights. 

What Are Some Reasons Aging Adults Might Need to Downsize? 

When adults reach retirement age, they’re entering a phase of their life where they might not need or want to live in the same home their kids grew up in.  

An adult may also need to move for practical reasons. For example, if the house isn’t appropriate for an older person because it has several staircases and narrow hallways that make it difficult to move. 

Two flights of white and dark brown wooden stairs in a home. .

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that every adult who sells their home is ready to move to a retirement community — they might just need a smaller home. 

If you or a loved one are looking to move into a new space, here are some reasons to seriously consider downsizing: 

  • You can move into your dream home, not the home you bought to raise your children in. 
  • You may make a profit from the sale and be able to sell the household items you no longer need through online auctions, too.  
  • A smaller house is easier to maintain, and may pay lower property taxes
  • With the money you’ll make — and the money you’ll be saving—you may be able to pursue other interests, like traveling to places on your bucket list. 

When do you know it’s time to downsize? 

Retirement looks different for everyone, and no one can tell you when it’s time to downsize or not. However, planning ahead can help simplify the downsizing process when you or your aging parent are ready to make that transition. 

Here are some signs that an existing home is not the right place to grow old in: 

You’re worried about aging in place 

Are your entrances too small to fit a walker? Do you have to climb three flights of stairs before you get to your bedroom? 

Your existing home may need too many modifications before it’s suitable for aging in place. You may be better off starting over in a new home that caters to your changing needs. 

Too much unused space or clutter 

Are your children’s rooms still exactly the same as they were before they left for college? Has it been years since you’ve been in your home office? That’s wasted space that still needs to be cleaned and cared for. 

Similarly, if there are items in your home that you haven’t used for a year or more, it may be time to get rid of them. 

Downsizing helps you clear clutter and sell space that would otherwise not be used. 

The costs are too high

A pair of reading glasses and a pen sitting on a piece of paper that says "Property tax notice: 5% penalty if not paid or grant not claimed by due date."

The property tax and maintenance costs on a large property are no longer justified if you don’t need that space anymore. That’s money that could be invested or spent in some other meaningful way — like on a new hobby. 

The house holds painful memories 

Losing a loved one isn’t easy but it happens more often the older we get. Downsizing and moving into a new space may mean a fresh start, in some ways.  

Downsizing and Decluttering: How to Help When It’s Time 

As people age, their fall risk increases. Falls can have tragic consequences for older folks — and a big, cluttered house is an obstacle that can be removed through downsizing. 

Adults will have changing needs as they reach retirement and beyond — downsizing early can help them meet these needs. 

There is no ‘right’ time to downsize. Some people may require more time to make the decision. Here’s what you can do to make the transition smoother. 

Discuss the downsizing process 

An aging parent should never feel like they’re being forced to sell their home — especially if there’s sentimental value attached to the place they raised their family. Moving may require them to say goodbye to many treasured items. 

A father and adult son have a conversation while sitting on a brown leather couch.

Clearly and calmly discussing the downsizing process with your mom or dad may warm them up to the idea. 

Make a list of pros and cons, and weigh what they stand to gain and lose in the process. 

Anticipate the future needs of your aging parent 

Most older adults will require some form of assistance as they reach a more advanced age. If they develop a disability in old age — perhaps due to a fall or a health complication — they’ll need a home where they can be cared for. 

Some basic needs of aging adults include: 

  • Entrance ways that are accessible 
  • Bathrooms that are safe to use 
  • Good lighting in and outside the home 
  • Access to reliable transport 
  • Access to quality health care facilities 
  • Help at the touch of a button during emergencies  

Decide on the Perfect New Home or Living Facility 

Downsizing is a big decision, and it may not be the right option for everyone.  

Adults with serious chronic conditions or disabilities may need round-the-clock medical care that only a nursing home can provide.  

Similarly, an aging adult who needs help with the activities of daily living (ADLs), may need to find a senior living community that offers care services. 

However, if your parents desire their own house, they may be able to find a new home that can facilitate aging in place. 

Tools, Tech, and Services That Make Downsizing Easier 

Downsizing is a big job ,and you’ll likely need help from friends and family members with the move. 

Writing everything down and setting reminders about what needs to be done and when, can help ensure a smooth transition. 

Here are some more things that can go a long way in helping seniors downsize: 

A detailed plan 

After discussing everything and making a list of possible relocation options for your parent(s), you’ll have to create a plan for the entire process. Divide it into sections, and include timelines and dates when each step will be completed. 

A woman sits in front of a laptop and looks down at a cellphone she is holding. She has a serious look of concentration on her face.

Some things to include in your plan are: 

  • The motivations of your loved one for downsizing 
  • What they will require at their new home 
  • The cost(s) involved in selling and buying a new home 
  • Everything that needs to be done leading up to the move and beyond 
  • The contact details of people who will be directly involved in the process (for example, moving companies and storage facilities) 
  • Any modifications that should be done to the new home for the purpose of aging in place 


The checklists you create will form part of the abovementioned detailed plan. There will likely be a multitude of little boxes that need to be checked to ensure a smooth downsizing process.  

Make these important documents as you go along and share them with the relevant stakeholders, like family members who may be allocated certain tasks for the move. 

Ideally, these checklists should be in the form of shared files online — this way, when a change is made, everyone is alerted and they’re all on the same page. 

Some other checklists you may want to include here are our fall prevention and aging-in-place checklists

Help from professionals 

A professional organizer, senior move managers, aging-in-place specialists, and downsizing specialists are people whose services you may need when you downsize. 

A man with glasses and a button-down shirt talks on a cell phone. He has a serious and focused look on his face.

Get in touch with local experts to ensure you’ve covered everything before moving. 

A medical alert device 

Moving can be stressful and a new, unfamiliar environment cab increase the risk of falls. So a medical alert device is a useful tool for an aging adult who’s just moved into a smaller home or is in the process of doing so. 

A medical alert device can be worn around the wrist, neck, or waist, and it gives the user access to emergency services with the click of a button.  

A device like this will provide an aging parent with a sense of freedom and security during the process of downsizing. In the event of an accident at their new home, help will be at hand. 

At LogicMark, you’ll find a wide selection of medical alert devices. To learn more about how these medical alert devices can keep your aging loved one safe and give you peace of mind, contact us today. 



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